Paul Hembery: “This is the sort of race we were hoping for”

Tyre strategies were key to the outcome of the Spanish Grand Prix, with two-stopping Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen getting the better of three-stopping Sebastian Vettel.

Verstappen used a set of Medium Pirelli tyres to take his maiden Formula 1 victory on his first outing for Red Bull Racing following his switch from Scuderia Toro Rosso, with the Dutchman showing good tyre conservation throughout the event, with runner-up Raikkonen just one lap less in his Scuderia Ferrari.

Third placed Vettel made three stops, which would have been the same as Daniel Ricciardo had the Australian not made a penultimate lap stop due to a puncture.

Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembery was happy with how the race panned out with the split strategies adopted by the two front running teams, and he felt that this kind of race was what Pirelli had hoped for with the regulations in place as they are.

“This was a complex strategic battle all the way to the very end, with the balance of power shifting between Red Bull and Ferrari as the tactics evolved from lap to lap,” said Hembery.

“The result was a fascinating race that remained absolutely unpredictable all the way to the chequered flag, making it one of the stand-out events of the season. During the final 10 laps the drivers had to manage their tyres to be sure of maintaining performance to the finish, adding yet another intriguing dimension to the action.

“This is the sort of race we were hoping for with our current range of compounds and the latest tyre regulations, so the Spanish Grand Prix certainly delivered. We’ve seen Formula One history being made today with the youngest winner ever in the sport, and we feel very proud to play a part in that.”